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Professors Arthur and Elaine Aron have studied how people form deep relationships. Indeed, they have done research into how people can feel an incredible connection with another person in less than an hour. Total strangers to feel like they have known each other for years, connecting more deeply than they do with even some of their closest friends! “Deep Connections” is about practicing this ourselves.
Submit your tip and we will review for some language about the process.
After the activity, ask people if they think it was effective. Did they connect deeply with someone they hadn’t previously known very well? If so, how did that happen?
Solicit responses from people in the room. Usually, people are quite enthusiastic to share the key lessons, which include these:
Although most people are reluctant to be vulnerable, doing so actually increases trust and connection. According to Dr. Richard Slatcher of UCLA, this activity works because people slowly escalate their levels of disclosure. It helps people build trust by being vulnerable with each other over time. They start by confiding very small things. Over the course of the 45 minutes, they gradually reveal more about themselves. This exercise wouldn’t work well if people just jumped right into the most revealing questions like “What would you change about the way you were raised?”
Arthur and Elaine Aron of the Interpersonal Relationships Lab at the State University of NY, Stony Brook
Aron, A., Melinat, E., Aron, E. N., Vallone, R., & Bator, R. (1997). The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: A procedure and some preliminary findings. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 363-377.